Brigands of the Moon. Ray Cummings (1931)

November 12th, 2009

Brigands of the Moon was mostly unreadable.I found myself looking out the window on the bus rather than trying to follow the stupid plot. The
novels of this era were often very bad and this is one of them.

Brigands of the Moon was serialized in in one of the first issues of Astounding Stories of Super Science (long before Campbell took over). The editor, Harry Bates, was not known for selecting stories with scientific accuracy, but Cummings does all right in this area. There is a good description of
technologically feasible moon base, as well as some interesting, but unexplained technology; e.g. spy rays, pencil ray guns, and repulsion fields for navigation. There is an asteroid with an atmosphere, liquid water and what might be life on it on an eccentric orbit.

The story line and characters are what made me give up on this one about a third of the way through. I just couldn’t read any more of it. Cummings was not a very good craftsman as far as writing novels goes.

Ray Cummings worked with Thomas Edison as a personal assistant and technical writer from 1914 to 1919. His most highly regarded work was the novel The Girl in the Golden Atom published in 1922. His career resulted in some 750 novels and short stories.

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